Fossil #1

Fossil #2

Data: I went on a tour of a place called Ziggurat it is where Abraham lived the place is called UR. The man that gave the tour said these shells were from the great flood from noas ark. I'm want to know if these shells are from fresh or salt water and could the man be telling the truth.These shells are all over the place.

Send Ideas to: PeterJ



  • They are both freshwater snails, possibly subfossil...Allen A

  • Dear Avril,
    Thank you for the striking image that your post inspired. That is, the thought of Noah's Ark including living examples of every species of freshwater and terrrestrial mollusk (presumably leaving the marine ones to fend for themselves). This collection, which would have been far superior to any reference collection of these animals existing in the world today, could only have been gathered together by someone with an uncanny eye for minute specific distinctions among these variable creatures, so Noah must have been the greatest malacologist of all time as well as the greatest collector. What a pity that Noah had to disperse his collection, eh?

    While we are on the subject of traditional stories, let me recommend a couple of books by Adrienne Mayor:
    Fossil Legends of the First Americans.
    The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times.

    In these books, Mayor shows that people were aware of the existence of fossils well before the advent of modern science. Some of the evidence is archaeological, including fossil collections recovered from an Egyptian temple and a Roman palace on Capri, and a Greek vase showing a fossil skull in a mythological context. Other evidence is historical or literary. In some cases, she attempts to trace legends to fossil inspirations, for example, the one-eyed, giant Cyclops was supposed to live in an area known for its fossil elephant remains, and elephant skulls do look as though they have a single large eye socket in front. (It's a trunk socket. The real eye sockets are smaller and on the sides.) In another example, the legendary griffin may have been inspired by fossils of Protoceratops in the Gobi Desert. This one is a bit of a stretch, but the sheer weight of detail in Mayor's book shows beyond a doubt that the ancients realized that fossils were the remains of once-living organisms, and were curious about them. They didn't have all the answers but they did have good questions.


  • freshwater 1. Melanopsis? 2. Melaniidae ... Andrew G.


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